Downtown YMCA Member Hollis

Downtown YMCA Member Hollis

Keep fit and having fun in 2021: YMCA Okanagan

Things to smile about this past year

~YMCA Okanagan

Now more then ever we realize it is essential to stay physically active and connected. The YMCA of Okanagan is honoured to provide just that, a safe place for people of all abilities to belong and reach their full potential.

This place is not just a gym, it’s a community.

“Physical activity is something I have always enjoyed and prioritized throughout my life, so I was devastated when I became disabled a few years ago. I tried so hard to continue working, but in the end, I had to go on disability as the pain was just too much.

The adjustment period was extremely hard on my mental well being. I was suffering, and suddenly very limited in what I could do physically and financially. I am normally a very positive person, but I sometimes found myself slipping into a dark place and the pandemic certainly didn’t help.

Shortly after our community started reopening, my friend encouraged me to try the Downtown Y with her. I knew I needed to get out of the house for my mental health, so I agreed to a free trial assuming it would be short lived.

I absolutely loved the staff, community feel, and friendly atmosphere. I really didn’t want my experience to end after my trial but just couldn’t work out how I could afford to keep going.

I became hopeful when I saw a sign for YMCA financial assistance within the facility. I asked Neil, one of the managers, about it, and the kindness I received still makes me tear up. He went out of his way to help me with my application but most importantly, he believed in me and he sincerely wanted me to join.

I cried when he told me I qualified, it really meant the world to me. I was so grateful to have a subsidized membership that I could afford.

Now I come in three times a week with my workout buddy and it’s had substantial effects on my mental and physical health. The Downtown Y is my happy place. It has provided me with a healthy routine, sense of community, and a safe place to get out to during the pandemic. I’ve been to many different gyms and the Downtown Y is one of the nicest, friendliest, and cleanest gyms I’ve been to. Honestly, if I couldn’t come to the Downtown Y, I would be in a very dark place. The YMCA helps and gives me something to look forward to. Those who donate have given me the opportunity to work on my health and it really means the world to me.

This place is not just a gym, it’s a community.”

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